Friday, March 16, 2018

Walking Dinner UK - A Delicious Way to See the Sights of London

London Eye and Southbank at night
Southbank and the London Eye
When I was approached about Walking Dinner, a company that arranges walking dinner tours in the heart of London (among other cities) featuring 3 courses at 3 different restaurants with sightseeing in between, I thought "What a great idea!" and it really is. So many times I'm approached by people who say they're in London for one night or just a few days, but they'd like to see as much as possible... This is a way of killing two birds with one stone so to speak - seeing iconic London landmarks while having dinner at the same time. It's a win whether you're here for only a few hours or staying for the whole week. Offering two different routes featuring 6 different restaurants, Walking Dinner is great for Londoners and tourists alike who want to try something fun, new and a bit more active than a traditional sit-down dinner. I took the London Southbank Tour and it was a really fun and tasty experience!
French Onion Soup at Brasserie Joel
the French Onion Soup at Brasserie Joel
The Walking Dinner London Southbank Tour starts off at Brasserie Joel in the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel just steps away from Waterloo station. Nestled inside the chic hotel filled with arty decor, Brasserie Joel is a sophisticated eatery with lots of atmosphere. Lit walls and a wine rack with red backlighting that takes up an entire wall give this otherwise dark restaurant a stylish, rather trendy ambience. While I fully understood that we would only be at Brasserie Joel for one course, I couldn't help but feel like I would be happy staying there all evening.

At each restaurant a Walking Dinner branded menu is provided for the course featuring at least four options. There is always a vegetarian option where appropriate and if you have dietary requirements or allergies, it's worth mentioning when you book as many of them can be catered to. In addition to the food, there is a choice of drink at each course which consists of a red wine, a white wine, a beer or a soft drink. From course to course I was impressed by the wide variety of options that I personally believe offers something for just about everyone. I'm a bit of a fussy eater with a few food allergies and there was at least one option I could get excited about at every course. At Brasserie Joel I decided on a classic starter, the French Onion Soup and it was absolutely delicious.

London Eye at night with red lights
The London Eye
Following the first course, we grabbed our coats and headed out to the Southbank for the first leg of our walking tour. Walking past the iconic London Eye along the River Thames at night is an experience that never gets old for us Londoners and shouldn't be missed by any visitors to our fair city. There was no feeling of being overstuffed or lethargic since we had a little stroll between each course. Furthermore, with a map and information about the sights on our tour, Walking Dinner is a bit like a scavenger hunt through one of the greatest cities in the world and the prize at the end is delicious food!
Minute steak frite with herb butter
Steak Frite 'Express' at Brasserie Blanc
For our main course we stopped at Brasserie Blanc, a restaurant I know I've walked past at least 100 times, but had never been to. With a friendly staff and a lovely French-inspired decor, Brasserie Blanc is a lovely place to have dinner. I ordered the Steak Frite 'Express' which was lovely, although I will be honest and admit that the main course was my least favourite of the evening. While it was tasty enough, it just wasn't as amazing as the other two courses, but given the affordable price of the evening, I was absolutely pleased with the quality of my meal.
chocolate torte with blueberries, strawberries and pomegranate seeds
Chocolate Torte at Omnino
As soon as we finished our main courses, we were up and at it again, walking further down the Southbank past Gabriel's Wharf and the Mondrian Hotel with views of the Oxo Tower and St. Paul's Cathedral in the distance. Crossing Blackfriars Bridge, we headed north of the river to Omnino St. Paul's for dessert, our final course. I ordered the Chocolate Torte and it was amazing - by far my favourite part of the meal, which is odd for me since I'm not normally a dessert person, but it was incredible. The atmosphere at Omnino's is warm, fun and reminds me a well-lit old jazz club. It's very chic, but cheeky and fun at the same time. I'm actually thinking I need to head back there sometime for a dinner date night with my husband. It was actually the perfect place to end the evening and I love how every restaurant we visited had a completely different vibe.
the impressive wine rack at Brasserie Joel
Both options with Walking Dinner in London are £59.95 per person and include three courses and three drinks. You simply book online, pay for it then and in due course you'll receive your itinerary and all the information you need. Simply show up to the restaurants for your assigned dining times, eat, enjoy and head to the next location. There's no fussing with paying the bill - it's easy and a lot of fun! If you're a foodie who couldn't possibly try enough restaurants during your time in London, this is definitely for you. If you're someone who loves to be active as much as possible, what could be better than a city walk between each course? For tourists, this is one of the best ways to see the sights of London at night when they're all aglow with colourful lights, though there are lunchtime options available as well for those who prefer to sightsee during the day. Someone I was dining with on the evening even mentioned Walking Dinner for a date night and I think that's a brilliant idea - seeing London lit up at night along the riverside would certainly be romantic, but should you choose this for a night out with your sweet, you might want to leave your heels at home. Whether you're on your own or in a group, Walking Dinner is a fun, unique experience like none I've ever had and while it has a travel focus, it's something you do on your own, so it doesn't feel as cheesy as traditional big group tours.

* Special thanks to Walking Dinner for hosting me. While my tour and dinner were generously provided, all thoughts, photos and opinions are strictly my own and in no way influenced by Walking Dinner or any affiliated parties.


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